Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong holds talks with his Lao counterpart  Bounnhang Vorachith. (Photo: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA)
– Vietnam and Laos have highlighted their great friendship in a joint statement which was issued on the occasion of the official friendship visit to Laos by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Nguyen Phu Trong from February 24-25.

The bilateral great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation were founded  by Vietnam’s President Ho Chi Minh and Lao Presidents Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong, and nurtured by generations of Party and State leaders and people of the two countries.

The relationship has become an invaluable asset shared by the two Parties and nations, and a factor ensuring the existence and development of each country, the statement said.

The two sides agreed to enhance and continuously deepen the political ties, thus orienting the overall cooperation between the two countries.

They will work to promote cooperation in economy, culture, education, health care and science-technology on the basis of each side’s potential and strength, and effectively implement high-level agreements, cooperation deals between the two Governments, and cooperation programmes and plans between the two countries.

Stressing the the significance of affiliation in national defence and security, both sides concurred to strengthen the partnership for maintaining political stability, security, and social order and safety in each country.

The two sides will continue to join hands to build a common border of peace, friendship, stability, cooperation and sustainable development, and repatriate the remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who died in Laos.

They reached consensus on the timely exchange of information, close coordination and mutual support in regional and international issues.

Vietnam and Laos will step up cooperation and coordination with each other and with other countries and international organisations concerned in the management and supervision of all-round impacts of the safe use of the Mekong River water resources, contributing to ensuring sustainable and effective development, and harmonizing interests of Mekong River basin countries.

Both sides reiterated the significance of maintaining peace, stability, security and safety in the East Sea and their support of ASEAN’s role and principles, and agreed to promote the settlement of disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They will join hands with relevant sides to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea and push for the early conclusion of a practical and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea, thus contributing to the maintenance of peace, security, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large.-VNA